viernes, 29 de abril de 2011


Cinthy Jimenez

Description of the family.

Members of the family Sphingidae, commonly known as hawk moths, sphinx moths and hornworms, It is best represented in the tropics but there are species in every region (Scoble, 1995).They are large (2-20 cm wingspans), they are major pollinators of flowers and mostly nocturnal, their feeding behavior is very noticeable, it is like as a hummingbird. They are moderate to large in size and are distinguished among moths for their rapid, sustained flying ability (Scoble, 1995), than can reach 40-50 km / hr (Akkuzu, et al. 2008). The narrow wings and streamlined abdomen are adaptations for rapid flight.


According to Classification Kawahara (2009) is a monophyletic grouped. Our analysis strongly corroborates morphological evidence for the monophyly of the Sphingidae and supports a basal divergence within the family between Smerinthinae+Sphinginae (BP = 92%) and Macroglossinae (BP = 91%).


Sphingidae is a family of Lepidoptera order, that includes about 200 genus (Kawahara et al. 2009) and 1.400 species (Kitching and Cadiou 2000), are one of the most conspicuous and wellstudied insects. The position of the Sphingidae within the Lepidoptera is well reviewed by Scoble (1991). He follows Minet (1986) and Holloway et al. (1987) in keeping the Sphingidae within the Bombycoidea rather than treating them as a separate superfamily, the Sphingoidea, as do Common (1970), Hodges (1971) and Kuznetsov & Stekolnikov (1985) although all these authors have recognized their close relationship to the Bombycoidea.

In this work the following classification is adopted:

  • ORDER: Lepidoptera

  • SUBORDER: Glossata

  • INFRAORDER: Heteroneura

  • DIVISION: Ditrysia

  • SUPERFAMILY: Bombycoidea

  • FAMILY: Sphingidae

Before 1903 the classification of the Sphingidae had been based on purely superficial characters with the result that many unrelated species were lumped together and many closely related species were placed in widely separated genera .

Rothschild and Jordan were the first to adopt a natural, phylogenetic classification in their revision ofthe family. They used such characters as structure of the antennae, spination of the legs and abdomen, structure of the palpi, pilifer and feet, and examined the genitalia of a large number of species. The family Sphingidae was split into two divisions (Asemanophorae and Semanophorae), five subfamilies and seven tribes. The Sphingidae Semanophorae’ and the ‘‘Sphingidae Asemanophorae,’’ distinguished by the presence or absence of a patch of short sensory hairs (microtrichia) on the inner surfaceof the first segment of the labial palp. These groups correspond approximately to the present-day Macroglossinae and (Smerinthinae +Sphinginae) respectively (Kawahara et al. 2009).

Carcasson (1968), in hist work on the African Sphingidae, proposed a revision to the classification of the Sphingidae of Rothschild & Jordan based on the genital armatures of both sexes and on the early stages. In the Philampelini and Choerocampini this did not matter much as the genitalial structure of these insects is extremely uniform. The names proposed by Rothschild & Jordan for supra-generic taxa were adopted by Carcasson, although several older and more appropriate names were substituted. The term 'subfamily' was substituted for 'division', which has no nomenclatural status; all subsequent taxa above the rank of genus were demoted by one step. The 'tribes' of Rothschild & Jordan became 'subtribes', a useful rank which was not recognized in the International Code until 1985.

Hodges (1971), in his work on the Sphingidae of America north of Mexico, drew up a further revised system of classification, commenting that Rothschild & Jordan based their's '....on a very large number of characters, mainly of the adults. Many additional characters of the larvae and pupae fall into line if the associations of the genital systems are followed rather than those of the spination of the pilifer or of certain palpal characters'. Hodges further added that '....Rothschild & Jordan pointed out that the subfamilies and tribes within the Semanophorae were not equal and that several species and genera within each had characters which would tend to put them either one way or the other with the system. Hodges agreed with Carcasson in redefining the Semanophorae and Asemanophorae as subfamilies but points out that Carcasson incorrectly used these names. The subfamilies Sphinginae and Macroglossinae were proposed as substitutes, respectively.

Minet (1994) said that since Hodges' Sphinginae were most likely paraphyletic, with the Smerinthini and Sphingini only showing a few symplesiomorphies, the two tribes should be raised to subfamily status, as used by Kitching & Cadiou (2000). Recently, some of the above findings have been questioned. Placement of the Sphingidae within the Bombycoidea is still supported by Kawahara et al. (2009) in their large-scale molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Sphingidae. However, some of their results challenge aspects of the current lower taxonomy based on morphology, and provides a foundation for a new classification.

It is best represented in the tropics but there are species in every region (Scoble, 1995). They are moderate to large in size and are distinguished among moths for their rapid, sustained flying ability (Scoble, 1995), than can reach 40-50 km / hr (Akkuzu, et al. 2008). The narrow wings and streamlined abdomen are adaptations for rapid flight.

Currently, sphingidae classified in three subfamilies: Macroglossinae, Smerinthinae and Sphinginae.

The Macroglossinae are a sub-family that distributed worldwide and comprising more than 600 species. The subfamily is divided into three tribes: Dilophonotini, Macroglossini and Philampelini. the family has characterised for have first segment of labial palpus on mesal side with short sensory hairs on the naked area; proboscis long; frenulum and retinaculum always well developed; spines on caudal margins of abdominal terga either strong or weak, sometimes diffuse; midtibia with a single pair of spurs, hindtibia with two pairs. Its genitalia in male are symmetrical or slightly to moderately asymmetrical, with gnathos and uncus divided or undivided; saccus sometimes developed; sacculus with a single apical process; eighth sternum usually modified by being sclerotized medially, laterally and basally. And in female has lamella postvaginalis developed, lamella antevaginalis absent.

The Larva is Variable. Its head large or small, but always rounded. Horn may be absent and replaced by a 'button' in the final instar. Tapering anteriorly from thoracic segment 3 or abdominal segment 1 to head. Eye-spots may be present on these segments. And the Pupa has Proboscis fused with body, but may project into a ridge (carinate).

The Document has interested in the tribe Dilophonotini, A tribe of nearly 150 species distributed throughout the tropical and temperate regions of the Old and New Worlds, but with its stronghold in the Neotropical Region. Many of the more advanced species are diurnal and some are generalised mimics of such bees as Bombus and Xylocopa.

The Imago of this family is pattern of forewing variable. Its Genitalia is Very diverse and often asymmetrical in both sexes. The male has uncus with beak-like extension, entire or divided, but with a marked furrow on the medial line; gnathos spatulate (entire or split), but sometimes absent; sacculus with complex apical process armed with spines; saccus well developed. In female, lamella postvaginalis broad and developed; sclerotized part of ductus bursae short but the two slender bands on the posterior margin always well defined.

The Larva is diverse; the horn may be very slender and movable. Many have tubercles or excrescences on the thoracic segments and/or anal segments. And, the pupa has proboscis fused with body. Labrum displaced ventrally.

Genus for tribu and Distribution for Colombia:
  • Subtribe Dilophonotina - Burmeister, 1878
  • Genus Aellopos - Hübner, 1819

The Genus has described five species for Colombia :

Aellopos ceculus: The wingspan is 42-47 mm. It can be distinguished from all other Aellopos species by the yellow median band found on the hindwing upperside.

Aellopos clavipes: The body is dark brown with a wide white band across the abdomen. Wings are dark brown. The forewing has a black cell spot and three white spots near the pale brown marginal area. Note the absence of white scales on the hindwing anal angle, helping to distinguish this species from Aellopos titan.

Aellopos fadus : (Wing span: 2 1/4 - 2 3/4 inches (5.7 - 6 cm)). The body is brown with a wide white band across the abdomen. The upperside of wings is dark brown; the forewing has two bands of pale spots and lacks a black spot (typical of clavipes) at the end of the cell; the hindwing has a pale patch on the costa and one on the inner margin.

Aellopos tantalus: (wingspan: 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 inches (4.5 - 5.7 cm)).The body is reddish brown with a wide white band across the abdomen. The forewing upperside is reddish brown with a black cell spot and 3 white spots near the gray marginal area. A pale streak runs from the cell spot to the inner margin of the wing. The hindwing upperside is dark brown.

The Aellopos titan is a strong flying, day sphinx found from Uruguay and northern Argentina north through Central America. The body is dark brown (greenish, dorsally on the thorax, white on undersides of same) with a wide white stripe across the abdomen. The wings are dark brown. The upperside of the forewing has a black spot at the end of the cell and two bands of translucent white spots. The upperside of the hindwing has pale patches along the costa and inner margin.The moth broods continuously in the tropics. Gregory Nielsen reports a February 24, 2011, flight in Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia.

  • Genus Aleuron - Boisduval, 1870

The Genus has described two species for Colombia.

Aleuron neglectum neglectum: (wingspan 48-53 mm) There are no pearly white lines across the base of the discal cell or across the first abdominal segment as there are with A. iphis.

Extremely similar to Aleuron iphis but most easily separated by the smaller, black (not brown) median patch on the underside of the forewing. Basal white belt of abdomen upperside much narrower than in Aleuron neglectum, the following tergite not brown. Forewing upperside very similar to Aleuron neglectum but differs in the black median lines indistinct posteriorly, except the basalmost, which is bordered white basally but not distally, except at costal margin. Forewing underside with a smaller, black median patch (brown in Aleuron iphis) that generally does not touch the discal cell, least not between M3 and CuA1, there being always a spot of the ground-colour at the base of cell M3 - CuA1.

Aleuron iphis: (wingspan 52-57 mm). Upperside of abdomen with a conspicuous basal white belt, the following tergites brownish. Palps slightly angulated laterally. Forewing upperside crossed medially by four back lines, the basalmost bordered with white basally and distally. Forewing underside with a brown median patch that is contiguous with the discal cell between M1 and CuA1 and extends basad posteriorly.

    • Genus Baniwa - Lichy, 1981

    • Genus Callionima - Lucas, 1857

The Genus has described six species for Colombia.

Callionima calliomenae: (Wing span: approx. 67mm). It is immediately distinguishable from all other Callionima species by the regularly dentate outer forewing margin that is only slightly excavate below the apex and the dark yellow basal half to the hindwing upperside.

Callionima denticulata: (Wing span: 59 - 72 mm). t is extremely similar to Callionima pan pan, but the forewing apex is strongly truncate, the outer margin strongly excavate below the apex and markedly dentate. The basal half of the forewing underside is distinctly orange, contrasting with the greyish-brown distal part. The hindwing upperside is as in Callionima pan pan, but the black anal spot is at least 1.5 mm wide.

Callionima inuus: (Wing span: 67 - 72 mm). A thin but distinct yellow streak runs from the tip of the pointed apex almost to the base of the large light-coloured patch along the costa.

Callionima pan: (Wing span: approx. 64 mm).Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen. Both males and females nectar at flowers. Females are seldom taken at lights while males are more common.

Callionima parce parce: Wing span: 2 5/8 - 3 1/8 inches (6.7 - 8 cm))."Forewing upperside with a curved pale oblique apical line, expanding at M1 into a pale patch that curves back up the outer edge of the apical line towards the apex, resulting in the area between the outer margin and the apical line being paler that the area immediately basal to the apical line." The upperside of the forewing is orange-brown with paler patches and a large silvery spot at the end of the cell. The upperside of the hindwing is reddish-orange.

  • Genus Cautethia - Grote, 1865

  • Genus Enyo - Hübner, 1819

The Genus has described six species for Colombia.

Enyo bathus: It is similar to Enyo gorgon and Enyo taedium taedium, but there are no patches of woolly scaling on the abdomen. The forewing upperside is intermediate in pattern between these two species. The anterior half of the wing has a dark brown, median, longitudinal line that diverges apically to form a dark brown triangular patch. The line is followed by a marginal pale brown half-moon shaped patch.

Enyo cavifer cavifer: (Wing span: approx. 60-62 mm)In both sexes the forewing apex is truncated as opposed to sinuate as in Enyo gorgon. Ground colour is chocolate-brown, almost black in some places. The forewing discal cell is narrower than in either Enyo gorgon or in Enyo taedium taedium.

Enyo gorgon gorgon: (wingspan: approx. 66-72 mm)

  • Genus Erinnyis - Hübner, 1819

    The Genus has described eleven species for Colombia.

    Erinnyis alope: (Wing span: 3 1/4 - 3 15/16 inches (8.2 - 11.5 cm)). The upperside of the forewing is dark brown with short yellowish streaks on the inner half and wavy yellowish bands on the outer half. The upperside of the hindwing is bright yellow with a wide dark brown border.

  • Genus Eupyrrhoglossum - Grote, 1865

    The Genus has described three species for Colombia.

    Eupyrrhoglossum sagra: (Wing span: 5.1 - 5.3 cm). There is a semi-transparent submarginal spot on the forewing. The head has a low medial crest and the thorax is pale grey, contrasting sharply with the dark brown edges and median line. There is a blackish subbasal band on forewing upperside and a median yellow band of nearly even width on the hindwing upperside. The fringe is yellow.

  • Genus Hemeroplanes - Hübner, 1819

    The Genus has described four species for Colombia.

    Hemeroplanes diffusa: In Hemeroplanes diffusa the yellow bands of the abdomen upperside extend across the entire width of the segments. The fringes of the tergites are also yellow.The underside of the body is a paler orange than in Hemeroplanes triptolemus.The forewing upperside has bluish-white shading in the basal and postmedian areas, and the silver mark is 4-5 mm long, not forked basally. The posterior branch is obsolete.The hindwing upperside has bluish white shading in the marginal area, and the basal area is also bluish-white.The hindwing underside is more orange than in Hemeroplanes triptolemus, and the postmedian area is rust-brown along the greyish-brown border.

    Of the four Hemeroplanes species, H. diffusa is the only one that does not have the silver streak basally forked; Hemeroplanes longistriga is the only one with elongated extensions of the silver streak; Hemeroplanes ornatus has upper yellow abodminal bands that are retricted (but clearly visible) and do not cross the entire abdomen, while those same upper yellow bands extend dorsally across entire segments in triptolemus.

    • Genus Himantoides - Butler, 1876

    • Genus Isognathus - C. & R. Felder, 1862

      The Genus has described eight species for Colombia.

      Isognathus allamandae: (Wing span: male: 68mm; females: 78mm). Very similar to Isognathus australis, but allamande has narrower wings. The male Forewing distal margin is dentate, convex, and obtusely angled at M3. 30 mm. Forewing upperside more uniform in colour than in Isognathus australis; grey, with darker markings and lightly shaded with white; curved white line running between Rs1 and M1 in Isognathus australis represented by a straighter, double grey line; black streaks running between M3 and CuA1, and CuA1 and CuA2, both heavier than in Isognathus australis. Yellow band along inner margin of forewing upperside more extended than in Isognathus australis. Hindwing upperside marginal band narrower than in Isognathus australis. Yellow basal area of hindwing underside more extended than in Isognathus australis reaching Rs; dark marginal border only 1 mm wide at hind angle (4 mm in Isognathus australis).

      Female: 35 mm. As male but black streaks running between M3 and CuA1, and CuA1 and CuA2, both absent.

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